In late August, my Our Towns colleague (and fiancé) Michelle Ellia and I headed to South Carolina. We were going there to learn more about three smaller towns – Fort Lawn, Great Falls, and Kershaw.
We first told of what we saw, broadly, here, and followed up with our first dispatch, on Kershaw, here. We intend to write more about Kershaw, and report specifically on both Fort Lawn and Great Falls.
Several themes present in each town struck us. One was: new ideas in old spaces, which we also saw in Wagram, North Carolina.
Earlier this year, we had spoken with Noran Sanford about GrowingChange, the nonprofit he founded. When we learned we’d be traveling through Scotland County, North Carolina, we called Sanford to see if we could stop by to tour the decommissioned prison where he is empowering at-risk youth to reimagine and remake it anew into a sustainable farm and community asset.
We first learned of Sanford thanks to the Ashoka Fellowship, an international network of changemakers working as social entrepreneurs at various levels. We are sharing what Michelle and I saw – as well as reporting from several other Our Towns contributors – using Esri’s ArcGIS StoryMaps.
We have embedded the StoryMap below. To view it full-screen, you can access it on the ArcGIS StoryMap platform by clicking here.